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BROOKINGS NATIVE FINDS SUCCESS IN WORLD OF MMA

By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

Larry Munyon, a 2004 graduate of Brookings-Harbor High School, has been continuing his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, with a total of six fights in the last year.

On Saturday, Munyon suffered the first lost of his career at the Rumble at the Roseland XXXV in Portland through the Full Contact Fighting Federation (FCFF).

"I just got caught," Munyon said. "Now I have to walk around with a loss."

After controlling the first round with effective strikes and solid takedowns, Munyon got caught in a guillotine choke and was forced to tap in the second round.

"I hate to lose, but you have to bounce back," Munyon said. "It's just a bump in the road and I gotta get over it."

Munyon entered the fight with an unblemished 5-0 record.

All five of his fights were finished with a referee stoppage in the first round.

Saturday's fight was Munyon's first bout at 185 pounds.

His previous bouts all took place in the 205-pound division, where Munyon was moving up the ranks with five straight victories.

But because Munyon walks around at about 206 pounds – with most of the fighters in that weight class naturally weighing around 225 pounds – the higher up the ranks he moved, the more undersized he would be compared to the other fighters.

So Munyon decided to cut the weight – something he is used to from his wrestling days – and compete in the 185-pound division.

"I had to lose 23 pounds for the fight," Munyon said. "But I started cutting weight two weeks early so I could lose the weight naturally, through hard work and dieting."

Munyon continues to train at Impact Jiu Jitsu in Portland, but also works out at other gyms in the area to improve on other aspects of his game.

"I just try to bounce around to all these different gyms, pick up some things and then try and put them into my fighting style," Munyon said.

While working on his jiu jitsu at Impact, Munyon has also been improving his boxing skills with legendary trainer Matt Thornton at Straight Blast Gym.

Munyon also has a chance to work with the highest caliber of competitors on a daily basis.

His training partner and mentor is Aaron Stark, a professional MMA fighter with the Portland Wolfpack of the International Fight League, the first team-based mixed martial arts league.

He has also rolled with Nate "The Rock" Quarry of Team Quest from the reality TV show "The Ultimate Fighter," who has had multiple appearances in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the biggest stage for MMA fighters.

Munyon will take five or six months off before his next fight – which will probably take place in January or February of 2009 – but will continue to train and prepare himself to become a future star in the sport.

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